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Geelani Refuses to Meet All-Party Kashmir Delegation

The separatist leaders lashed out at Mehbooba, alleging that she was playing the “role of obfuscation”.

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Syed Ali Shah Geelani (C) at a protest in Srinagar. (Photo: Reuters)

The all-party delegation was unable to hold talks with Hurriyat leaders after they were forced to leave amid slogan chanting and protests in the Valley. Three members of the all-party delegation, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Asaduddin Owaisi, tried to call on hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani for a “transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue” of Kashmir. However, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said he managed to meet separatist leader, who hinted at possible talks in the future in Delhi.

A day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti invited them to meet the all-party delegation, the separatist leaders on Sunday said it cannot be an alternative to a transparent, agenda-based dialogue to address the “core” issue.

One “fails to understand” what hope to attach with a delegation which has not “spelled out its mandate for any engagement on a clear agenda”, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a joint statement issued here.

These methods of “crisis management through Parliamentary Delegations and Track-Two... can’t take the place of a genuine transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue...,” they said.

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“That has been our consistent stand and has been spelled out recently as well in our letters to various international and global fora,” they said. The separatist leaders also lashed out at Mehbooba, alleging that she was playing the “role of obfuscation”.

They said given this situation, it is “not surprising that even now her (Mehbooba’s) dominant concern, as expressed in her letter, is to ‘lend credence and credibility’ to the Indian Parliamentary Delegation visiting Kashmir avowedly to ascertain wishes of the people”. They also referred to her “outburst” during a press conference with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently, and said it seemed to even “embarrass” the minister.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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